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Police Continue to Struggle to Break Sunnyside Murder Case

March 1, 2013 By Christian Murray

The police appear to have made little progress in tracking down the killers of a local man.

Lou Rispoli, a 62-year-old Woodside man, was brutally attacked outside a residential building at 41-00 43rd Avenue in Sunnyside last October. Rispoli was hit in the back of the head with a blunt object and died five days later in Elmhurst hospital.

The police, who have been starved for leads, appeared to get a break in January, when they were able to release sketches of two of the three men they believe were involved in the murder.

“We have got some response [from the sketches],” Deputy Inspector Donald Powers, said at the police precinct meeting Tuesday night.  “There are some open leads from what was heard from the public.”

Powers, however, would not state whether any significant progress had been made in the case and urged the public to come forward with information. However, he remained confident the perpetrators would be caught.

The attack took place at about 2:15 am Saturday Oct. 20. While the police arrived shortly after the incident, it took 36 hours before a crime scene vehicle showed up to conduct a thorough investigation.

Powers said he reached out to the police department’s internal affairs bureau to conduct an investigation as to what was the cause of the delay. However, despite it being initiated in November, it has yet to be completed.

Meanwhile, across the precinct (which includes Sunnyside/Woodside & LIC), the number of serious crimes that have been reported has dropped 5.5% this year, compared to the same period last year.

The 2013 vs 2012 comparison (for crimes committed Jan. 1 through Feb. 24) is as follows:

  • 0 murders, compared to 0 for the same period last year
  • 4 rapes, compared to 0 so far last year. (Powers said none of the rapes were so-called stranger-rapes)
  • 18 robberies, compared to 28 last year
  • 18 felony assaults, compared to 19 last year
  • 25 burglaries, compared to 46 last year
  • 88 grand larcenies, compared to 68 last year
  • 18 stolen automobiles, compared to 20 last year.
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Rebecca Jay

All I know is that I miss my dear friend Lou more than words can say. He was like a big brother to me – since I was a teenager in the early 70’s. We lived thousands of miles apart and only saw one another occasionally but the true bond of friendship was always there. For his partner I hope and pray the investigation succeeds and provides some sort of closure for him.

Watching This Case

None of us can know if there was or wasn’t any evidence or witnesses that could have been found had the police showed up at the crime scene earlier. But most cops or detectives will tell you that the chances of finding something that could help break the case are higher the sooner you are at crime scene. Thirty six hours is a long time.

Lucky Lu

Well considering the fact that Mr. Rispoli was beaten over the head, it is entirely possible that the murder weapon was left there. What was it? A brick? A 2 x 4? It could have been something the cops thought was garbage when they arrived at the scene right after the attack. By the time they showed up 36 hours later, somebody would have likely picked it up and thrown it away, not knowing it was a murder weapon. An absolute disaster of an investigation.

Get a Life

I don’t think showing up at the crime scene earlier would have helped a lot unless one of the killers had smoked a cigarette and tossed it away (you can get DNA) or had left the murder weapon there (which I seriously doubt). Sometimes luck is just not with you that day and there are no forensics.

Longtime sunnysider

What a lot of crap. Statistics statistics statistics which I know for a fact are are not the real statistics. They try to sugarglaze everything . Shame shame shame on the 108


It probably would have helped if they set up a crime scene sooner that 12+ hours after the crime was committed.

Asleep at the wheel.


Suffice to say, the police have not made much progress with this case, even though they’d like to think at times they have. They certainly would like us to think that they’re making progress, but time has passed long enough for us to know better.

No one from the NYPD has ever come forward directly to us with any information on any leads – nothing. Imagine, your beloved has been killed, and you find things out through reading the Sunnyside Post.

This is what we’re living with, Folks, and it’s a disgrace.


If these perps were from the neighborhood, wouldn’t they have been handed in by now given the amount of the reward money? Something makes me think they are not from the Sunnyside/Woodside area.


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